Etisalat Q3 profits rise 5.7% to $648mln

The telecom major's profit for the first nine months of 2020 increased to $1.88bln

Customers use their mobile phones outside an Etisalat store at a shopping mall in Dubai.

Customers use their mobile phones outside an Etisalat store at a shopping mall in Dubai.

REUTERS/Jumana El-Heloueh

UAE - Etisalat on Wednesday said its third-quarter 2020 profit increased 5.7 per cent to Dh2.4 billion as compared to Dh2.28 billion for the same quarter last year on the back of higher operating profit and increase in subscriber base.

The UAE's largest telecom operator's quarterly revenues rose marginally to Dh13 billion as against Dh12.9 billion while aggregate subscriber base reached 149 million, year-over-year increase of one per cent.

In the UAE, the active subscriber base reached to 12.1 million in Q3 2020, declining by two per cent year-on-year and increased by three per cent quarter-over-quarter.

While Q3 UAE revenues decreased three per cent year-on-year to Dh7.5 billion and increased one per cent quarter-over-quarter. The decline is attributed to the fact that commercial activities remain below pre-Covid-19 levels as the macro-economic situation continue to pressure consumer and corporate spending.

Hatem Dowidar, acting CEO of Etisalat Group and CEO of Etisalat International, said the company's performance in the third quarter showed resilience in these uncertain times.

"Etisalat will move ahead in its journey of transformation on an accelerated path showing agility by future-proofing its business against challenges and capitalising on opportunities. We will remain focused on our long-term goals while creating incremental business value. As a company, we will continue to digitally transform our business, focusing on innovation in our existing assets by building new capabilities that are digitally enabled and sustainable," he said.

Consolidated EBITDA amounted to Dh6.9 billion, representing an increase of two per cent year-on-year and resulting in EBITDA margin of 53 per cent.

The telecom major's profit for the first nine months of 2020 increased from Dh6.7 billion to Dh6.9 billion while earnings per share grew from Dh0.77 to Dh0.80. But revenues fell from Dh38.8 billion to Dh38.6 billion during January to September period.

Covid-19 impact & outlook
The company said its operations were impacted as a result of temporary lockdown measures that led to mobility and travel restrictions.

"This put pressure on our revenue by virtue of the closure of stores, affecting the mobile prepaid segment and handset sales in addition to loss of roaming revenue due to the travel ban and additional provisions related to trade receivables and contract assets. In the third quarter, as restrictions began to ease, we noticed a gradual improvement in the commercial activities; however, remaining below pre-Covid-19 levels as a result of weaker macro-economics," it said in its third-quarter results.

"Despite the improvement we observed in the third quarter, our performance remained below pre-Covid levels and heightened macro risks will likely persist and continue to pressure our business at least for the remainder of 2020," it said. 


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